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Poster: billydlions Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Hey Tell, I promise this is my one and only religious post (isn't this a GD forum?). You're a scientific guy, and I have no idea where you stand on the issue (nor am I asking), but isn't there only 2 ways to look at this: 1) you believe and you're wrong or 2) you dont believe and you're wrong. so what are the potential consequences of each. 1) I cant think of any negatives for the time and money I've given the church given what I've gotten out of it (friends, support of good causes, etc) 2) consequences for #2- we'll I'm not going there, but that's something each person needs to decide.

I'm just curious how you would apply a reasonable rationalization for this. On that note I'll shut up.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Can't you believe and be right? Or not believe and be right?
Anyway, this argument is along the lines of Pascal's wager, which can be simplified as ‘If God does not exist, one will lose nothing by believing in him, while if he does exist, one will lose everything by not believing.’

The probability of god's existence logically, I guess, is 0.5 - either there is or there isn't with no possibility of an inbetween solution. On those grounds, it may be argued, that it takes cast-iron cojones to be an atheist in that you chance losing an eternity of paradise in exchange for a lifetime of being a smartass. But seemingly I'm still a smartass.


"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
Stephen F Roberts

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

This is why that movie quote by Kirk Douglas as Odysseus has such appeal to the two of us (the one about his rejection of immortality for the joy of the mortal life...never could find the antecedent in either of Homer's tomes; well, the gist is there, but nothing like the screenwriter's version!).

I'll go on an odyssey ANYTIME with you, my fine word-crafting friend!

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the Arbinator (whose existence cannot be doubted) I shall take this Facebook moment to say what a great joy it is to be on this forumite odyssey with you. (You take Scylla, I'll grab Charybdis...)

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Don't forget us Catholics we can believe and be smartasses

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Ha! Hey, as long as no one else tells us to shut up, WTF? It's our own little thread buried down here, not at the top of the board, so no big deal, right?

I'd say the proposition you outline is a really an example of rather silly proposition (sorry, but think about it objectively as I outline below): it only seems reasonable to you because of 2000 yrs of culturally history. Seriously.

Imagine what this conversation would look like: you arrive in the New World, and you outline the Christian background to the heathens, and then conclude with the choice just outlined above. They chat among themselves, and then give YOU the exact same proposition, BUT now they substitute their silly notions (to you anyway) about the Mother God of Earth, and the Spirit of the Wolf, blah, blah, blah...they give you the same choice: believe and no harm, but some good MAY come. Deny and some harm MAY come, so why don't you go along?

Well, of course in this case, you CAN'T go along with their Gods because of YOUR religion.

But, if you were me, a scientist, would you go along with the heathen's proposals?

I know you'll know be inclined to defend your religion (Christianity I assume) is "better" than the heathens, etc., etc., etc.

But, I would ask, just think about that a while. It cannot be decided, unless you argue ethics, independent of deities...

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Good points as expected. Of course I look at it as having only 1 choice: there is some God out there (call it whatever name you'd like) or there is none. We all have free will to choose to believe or not believe with whatever else comes with that. I guess I'm saying I have no regrets either way! Now back to the music.

p.s. you are one of the few who can debate with civility which I guess attracts me to offer my opinions, however silly they may be. Cheers!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Thanks, BD--much appreciated. I always enjoy our chats as well.

And, for what's worth to you, in spite of the appearance of hypocrisy (I actually think not, but understand the notion), I have a huge amount of christianity/catholic guilt (ha, but truly!)/jesuit background as an Irish Catholic by upbringing, and in spite of all the negative stuff that was brought up about organized religion, like Rob said, there is a LOT of GOOD in that cultural baggage too...